The state government has released a statewide Bullying Prevention strategy (PDF 5.3MB) focused on strengthening responses to children’s bullying both inside and outside the school gates.
Bullying prevention requires a whole-of-community response. To develop the strategy, the Department for Education has worked with Catholic and independent school sectors, government departments and non-government organisations.
These public consultations in 2018 shaped the strategy:
- A ‘Keeping children safe from bullying’ conference and community consultation, attended by 900 delegates.
- A public survey through YourSAy.
- An expert roundtable held by the Attorney General.
- A youth consultation by the Commissioner for Children and Young People.
The strategy’s community approach to bullying reflects community feedback, bullying prevention research and best practice.
The strategy’s initiatives
- Providing new bullying resources for teachers, students and families.
- Training and educating teachers, students and families to increase their knowledge and ability to prevent and respond to bullying.
- Increasing both compliance with bullying prevention policy requirements and school accountability.
- Working with non-traditional partners, such as local councils, community services and other government departments, to prevent bullying.
- A partnership with Youth Affairs Council of South Australia to support student-led bullying prevention initiatives in schools.
These initiatives will be implemented from 2019 to 2022.
A range of partners across the state have been involved in implementing the strategy. Read the latest progress update in the 12 month progress report – connected: a community approach to bullying prevention within the school gates and beyond (PDF, 2.94MB).
Where to get help for bullying
Bullying at school or affecting school relationships
- The first step is to raise your concerns with the school.
- If you are unsatisfied, contact the Customer Feedback Unit.
Counselling and support
- Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
- Headspace – 1800 650 890
- Lifeline – 13 11 14
- Parent Helpline – 1300 364 100
Serious online bullying
The Office of the eSafety Commissioner has a complaint scheme for children and young people experiencing serious bullying online. They can help remove cyberbullying content from a social media or online service.
- Legal Services Commission of South Australia – 1300 366 424
- Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement – 1800 643 222
- Youth Law Australia
Bullying that may be a criminal offence
If you think the bullying involves a criminal offence, you can report the matter to police.
If you feel you’re in immediate danger, contact the South Australia Police on 000.
If you require police attendance, call 131 444.
Bullying Prevention strategy video
Trinh Mai, Engagement and Wellbeing, Department for Education: Connected is the South Australian Government's community approach to bullying prevention within the school gates and beyond. The Department for Education has worked closely with our partners across government departments, non-government organisations, and all school sectors to support children to be safe from bullying. We've worked to ensure that South Australian voices have informed this strategy from the very beginning. The work that's been done by the Commissioner for Children and Young People has really helped us to ensure that the voices and experiences of children have shaped the strategy, and we are continuing to take that co-design process to ensure that we really bring that to life in the strategy. The work that's being done by the students of Underdale High School with the Youth Affairs Council of South Australia is a wonderful example of this. These students aren't just learning about bullying prevention, they are creating the peer education model that's going to be supporting children and young people all across South Australia.
Aldous: So we as a group, have been openly discussing ideas about how to keep our school safe, and reassure students that the environment that we learn in is safe. We have been talking about this how to raise awareness about bullying.
Armaan: Our idea was to learn about bullying, and have a deeper understanding of how people are affected by it. We're working on setting up a team that reports any bullying when they see it happening and finding activities that can explain what bullying is.
Ezra: We've been able to openly discuss ideas and topics and help students feel more safe in the school environment.
Jessica: The action team is going to be using the survey that we did earlier this year to come up with ideas to prevent bullying, and support those who are being bullied. Armaan: It's very early on but so far we've been working on raising awareness about bullying for the national day action against bullying, and as a part of that we organised an art competition and a mural where students were encouraged to express their feelings about bullying. The whole school also had to fill out a survey which we're going to then analyse, and make our school a safer place.
Jessica: The survey's shown that bullying is not common at Underdale, but it does seriously affect those who are being bullied.
Yashveer: It's gonna make a lot of difference, especially at school but also outside of school.
Yaman: The project means to me that we can have more than one different opinion on how to solve bullying and everyone's opinion is included. Jessica: I've learned that there's also often a meaning behind bullying, whether it's family issues at home, or they're struggling at school. It might also just be that they're unhappy, feeling unsafe, and they want to bring someone down to make themselves feel better.
Trinh Mai: This is just the beginning. There will be more tools and resources that will be made available over the next three years. This strategy is the South Australian community's commitment to supporting children and young people to be safe from bullying within the school gates, and beyond.
On screen: Connected – a community approach to bullying within the school gates and beyond is a partnership between:
- Association of Independent Schools of South Australia
- Attorney General’s Department
- Catholic Education South Australia
- City of Playford
- Commissioner for Children and Young People
- Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People
- Department for Child Protection
- Department for Education
- Department for Human Services
- Guardian for Children and Young People
- Legal Services Commission
- SA Health
- South Australia Police
- Training Centre Visitor
- Youth Affairs Council of South Australia
Bullying prevention: diversity and inclusion video
- How would I describe myself?
- I am a caring person.
- I like to think that I'm funny.
- Energetic, I don't know.
- Well, what makes me me?
- The things that have shaped who I am today is experiences.
- My friends and family.
- Probably my background or culture that I'm from.
- Diversity means
- Well, it can mean lots of different things.
- Economic backgrounds.
- Sexuality as well.
- All of us are different in our own ways.
- I've got over 10 different backgrounds and even though I have dealt with discrimination, it's still something that I have always been proud to be.
- A stereotype is something that society has moulded us into thinking is correct.
- It's a generalisation based off someone's characters that are unrelated.
- They will put that thing that that person said against the whole culture, instead of just being that one person.
- I don't think most people mean to do it or have any malicious intent.
- I mean, if everyone was the same and everyone loved the same thing or just had the same persononality that would be boring. 'Cause I mean, in this school you get to meet so many different people.
- Inclusion is important because you should make everyone feel comfortable and everyone needs to feel loved and supported.
- I've had times where I feel really lonely and I just don't know who to turn to. There's all these mixed emotions, is it my fault? Is it their fault? Should I be angry at them or should I be angry at myself?
- When you're included, it feels like you are finally accepted for who you are and who you were born as.
- I didn't know anyone, it was nice to have someone to talk to.
- I think it just makes me feel like I'm part of this community and this school.
- I have good friends, I have a good environment around me and I smile.
- We can make everyone feel included.
- By actually talking to them or getting to know them before you make a judgement on them.
- There's so many things that you can just say that will make that person feel included.
- Maybe just keep an eye out.
- Just go up to them and say hi, even if that just makes their day.
- If it's just a little smile at someone.
- No matter how you look, what you believe or what things you've gone through in your life, you're just as great as everyone else.